Bronson’s volleyball team gave everything top-ranked Mendon (Class C) could handle Wednesday on the Hornets’ senior night, but the host squad rallied from an uncharacteristic meltdown in the fourth set to finish off the Vikings in five.
Mendon won the first game 25-18, lost the second 18-25, squeaked by in the third 25-23, lost 12-25 in the fourth and used some critical aces in the fifth for a 15-7 win.
The Hornets closed out the last St. Joseph Valley League regular season 6-0 with the conference tourney scheduled for a week from Saturday on their floor. Bronson finished 5-1 and White Pigeon, a three-set winner over Centreville Tuesday, ends the SJV slate 2-4. The Bulldogs went 0-6. Each league victory counts as a point, with every team playing the three other schools in the SJV tourney for three more available points to determine a final conference champion.
Mendon coach Kathy Trenary said she was “befuddled” after her team improved to 35-6-2 overall.
“Bronson got in their heads maybe, or they just didn’t come out fired up,” she said of a match that looked to be slipping away late. “[My girls] had a great match over the weekend against Schoolcraft and didn’t show that [same] energy right here. Bronson is well coached. If they get a little chip in the foundation they’re going to try to take out the whole building. [Jean Laclair] did a good job.
“I don’t know. We were just awful. We just gave them point after point after point [in that fourth set].”
A lack of aggressiveness early in contests has been a concern of Trenary’s for several weeks, and with postseason play approaching, she said the program must find a solution in a hurry. She’s just not completely sure what that is at the moment.
There’s something to be said about the ability to rally, but it might not work moving forward.
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“When we play better teams, and we talked about that very thing this weekend, we start out slow and give out points, we’re not going to be able to catch up to a really good team when we get down to the end of the line,” Trenary added. “They really need to find the confidence in their game when they walk out onto the floor. They didn’t have that tonight.”
Danielle Parsons came up big with three aces in the final game that inflated Mendon’s cushion to 12-5. The Hornets were far more intimidating at the net in the final game as well.
Full results can be found on the Scoreboard page.
Brooke Howard put up a team-high 16 kills and finished with three blocks and 16 digs. Jordan VanOss registered 15 kills, seven assists, a pair of blocks and 15 digs. Setter Loryn Baughman ended the evening with 41 assists and 13 digs, Alexis Russell dropped 13 kills and made two blocks and Megan Leighton recorded seven kills.
Video interview with senior setter Loryn Baughman.
Mendon competes as the Coldwater tournament Saturday.
“The seniors are really competitive,” Trenary said. “If it gets down to the wire, you know, they might dig it out. We’ve got to say that much for them.”